Cranes and Equipment

  1. Choose the right tonnage for Crane with sufficient reach.
  2. Forklift of 10,000 to 12,000 lbs with tele-scoping boom.
  3. Qualified Crane Operator.
  4. Ironworkers trained in use of equipment.
  5. Know all safety requirements for Crane, Rigging, Forklift and Boom Lifts.

It is important to get the right size and tonnage for Crane, Forklift and Boom Lift for the project.

Crane size comes down to the heaviest pick and how far out you have to reach with it. In my opinion the more reach the better to cut down on how many times you need to move crane as well as be able to have the lay down area out of the way of erection activity and equipment. Crane placement is extremely important, you want to place crane in the most optimal locations to get the best reach.

The best size forklift for a erection project is a 10,000 to 12,000 lbs a 8,000 lbs will work but will cut down on the amount of weight you can move around with it. You also want to have a forklift with a tele-scoping boom.

The size of Boom Lifts and Scissor Lifts will come down to the height of the project. All ironworkers operating lifts need to be certified on them.

It is important to know all Safety requirements for Cranes and Rigging, Forklifts and Boomlift/Scissor Lifts, below you will find Safety pertinent to each one.

Crane Safety

The intent of crane safety procedures is to insure all crane operations are performed in a safe manner. All crane work must be pre-planned to assure the safety of the process. It is the responsibility of the Erector/or the crane equipment supplier to assure any crane used on a Steel project is in a safe working condition. All cranes must comply with all applicable state or federal safety and health standards.

On-Site documentation must be supplied with the crane and received by project management prior to any work by the crane on the job. Documentation required:

  1. The manufacturer’s O&M requirements and specifications will be followed.
  2. The crane complies with all applicable state, federal or special requirements of the project.
  3. Operator’s manual must be available in the cab of the crane.  A copy of the cranes annual inspection is to be on file at the site at all times.
  4. The annual inspection will be by a person qualified to inspect and certify cranes.
  5. The operator’s view of the load charts will not be obstructed at any time.
  6. Inspection logs for daily, weekly and monthly work are available in the crane cab for inspection.
  7. Only certified operators will be allowed to operate cranes.
  8. Special permission, in the form of a “lift plan”, is required for any lift that exceeds 75 percent of the rated capacity of the crane in the pick condition. (This is not applicable for mobile cranes equipped with operating computer systems or tower cranes with operating limit switches.)
  9. Prior to the on-site arrival of the crane, insure that any electrical lines that will be in the working area are de-energized or insulated. Whenever possible lines should be relocated.
  10. A daily inspection will be performed at the start of each shift and recorded on crane daily inspection log.
  11. At no time will a crane be operated with computer systems or limit switches in a non-functioning or override condition.
  12. The operator has the responsibility and authority to cease operation whenever an unsafe condition exists. The Foreman will be “Immediately” contacted when this occurs.
  13. Prior to all picks, the weight of the load must be known and the load chart consulted.
  14. All outriggers must be fully extended and set on stable ground. Avoid setting outrigger pads on backfilled area. Any cribbing under outrigger is to be tightly planked.
  15. The swing radius of the counter weight is to be barricaded prior to start of crane operation.
  16. No alterations are to be made to any part of the crane without the written authorization of the crane manufacturer. Any structural repairs or modifications will meet the manufacturer’s requirements and be inspected and re-certified.
  17. Pick and carry operations are to be avoided if possible.
  18. Cranes, rigging and loads are not permitted within 10 feet of high voltage power lines (50,000 volts or less). For lines over 50,000 volts, minimum clearance will be 10 feet plus 0.4 inch for each 1,000 volts. Any operations that will approach the 10 foot minimum must be re-planned to include calls to the local power company. At that time a request to have those power systems which are in close proximity reduced to the “one shot” mode.

The hoisting of personnel will be done only when all the requirements of CFR 1926.550 (suspended personnel platforms) have been met.

Due to the seriousness of crane safety procedures, any operator or Foreman who violates these procedures should be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Rigging Safety

  1. All rigging and hardware will be selected to safely handle the weight of the load.
  2. Rigging is to be inspected daily. All defective rigging is to be red tagged and taken out     of service.
  3. Only personnel who are experienced will be allowed to perform rigging tasks.
  4. Rigging will be stored in a manner that will protect the rigging from damage.
  5. Both the weight of the load and the center of gravity will be known prior to the lift being performed. Accurately weigh the load before any pick.
  6. Tag lines are to be attached to all loads. Tag lines should be made of non- conductive material and be at least ten (10) feet long and be well secured to the load.
  7. Multiple lift rigging will comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1926.753(e).
  8. Rigging used in conjunction with suspended personnel platforms are not to be used for any other purpose.
  9. An erection plan will be made prior to all critical lifts and kept on the job site.

For additional crane requirements and information, refer to OSHA Regulations –

Subpart N – Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors (1926.550 –


Aerial Lifts

Anytime aerial lifts, including: (1) extensible boom platforms, (2) aerial ladders, (3) articulating boom platforms, (4) vertical towers, or (5) a combination of any such devices, are used to elevate employees to job-sites above ground, the following safety rules will apply:

  • No aerial lift this company owns or uses will be ‘field modified’ for uses other than those intended by the manufacturer unless:
  • The manufacturer certifies the modification in writing, or
  • Any other equivalent entity, such as a nationally recognized testing lab, certifies the aerial lift modification conforms to all applicable provisions of ANSI A92.2-1969, and the OSHA rules at 1926.453. The lift must be at least as safe as the equipment was before modification.
  • Operators shall test all controls and functions before use.
  • Operators shall inspect all Aerial lifts before each shift.
  • 100% tie off personal fall arrest fall protection is required in aerial lifts that have rotating, articulating or extending booms. Use the approved tie off point inside the basket.
  • All operators shall be trained before using aerial lifts and the training must involve reading the operators manual.
  • Always stand firmly on the floor of the basket, never sit or climb on the edge of the basket. Never use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.
  • Never exceed boom and basket limits specified by the manufacturer.


Ensure that Forklift operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation. Prior to permitting an employee to operate a powered industrial truck (except for training purposes), each operator has successfully completed the required training.

  • Surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated
  • Composition of loads to be carried and load stability
  • Load manipulation, stacking, and unstacking
  • Pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be operated
  • Narrow aisles and other restricted places where the vehicle will be operated
  • Hazardous (classified) locations where the vehicle will be operated
  • Ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect the vehicle’s stability
  • Closed environments and other areas where insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust.
  • Other unique or potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace that could affect safe operation.


Steel Estimating Solutions

Vince Hughes 



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